Install the Dropbox app on an operating system gold image

If you’re deploying Dropbox to several computers at once, try the enterprise installer to deploy quickly. If you use the enterprise installer, using these steps to create a gold image isn't required.

Administrators can build an operating system (OS) image with software and tools pre-loaded to use as a template or “gold image”. This image can be cloned to a group of workstations for rapid deployment. 

Follow the steps in this article to avoid any unexpected issues when cloning an OS image with Dropbox installed.

Select your OS for steps to prepare Dropbox on the gold image:

Mac and Linux

Before making an image of the OS, remove the user specific Dropbox files. This forces Dropbox to create unique keys and instance data for each user on the cloned machines. 

  1. Download the Dropbox installer on the gold image.
  2. Follow the steps to install Dropbox, but don’t sign in when prompted.
  3. Click the Dropbox logo in the menu bar.
  4. Click the gear icon.
  5. Click Quit Dropbox.
  6. Open your file explorer.
  7. Copy and paste this path into the search bar of your file explorer to open the user's home directory:
~/
  1. Delete the .dropbox folder from this location.
    • Don’t run Dropbox again before the imaging or snapshot process. This recreates the .dropbox folder.
  2. Remove any specific-system identifying information such as the UUID, static IP addresses, etc.  to finalize the installation before cloning.
  3. Shut down the workstation and create the gold image.

When a user starts the Dropbox app on a cloned machine, the Dropbox user directory is automatically recreated for that individual user.

Windows

Before making an image of the OS, remove the user specific Dropbox files. This forces Dropbox to create unique keys and instance data for each user on the cloned machines. 

  1. Download the Dropbox installer on the gold image.
  2. Follow the steps to install Dropbox, but don’t sign in when prompted.
  3. Click the Dropbox logo in the system tray.
  4. Click the gear icon.
  5. Click Quit Dropbox.
  6. Open your file explorer.
  7. Copy and paste this path into the search bar of your file explorer:
%LocalAppData%
  1. Delete the Dropbox folder from this location.
    • Don’t run Dropbox again before the imaging or snapshot process. This recreates the Dropbox folder within LocalAppData.
  2. Open the Command line and run this command to start the Sysprep program:
%SystemRoot%\System32\Sysprep
  • In the dialogue box that pops up, make sure the Generalize option is checked. This removes system specific information like the UUID and the Windows Activation Key.
  1. In Sysprep, select Shutdown from Shutdown options
  2. Click Okay.
  3. Create the gold image.

When a user starts the Dropbox app on a cloned machine, the Dropbox user directory is automatically recreated for that individual user.

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